As we travel, there is no master plan in place. Can you imagine not knowing where you will be in six months? When selecting a house sit to apply for, it is based on length, dates, location, and the number of pets. Pets are not a problem, we love them, but if we need a “vacation” from our travels, we will find a month-long sit with a cat or cats. 

When we started the year in the state of Washington, we had no idea how amazing the year would turn out. We enjoyed the nature of the Olympic National Park area of Washington to the romance of Paris, and our exotic adventure in Marrakesh, Morocco. Yep, it was quite a year. 

Even with all the house sits we have completed (39 at the end of 2018) with great reviews, we don’t get every sit we apply for. When we don’t get one, my motto is “it wasn’t meant to be, there is a better adventure in store,” and boy, this year it was amazing – have I said that enough yet! Amazing! 

For additional photos please also see my husbands photo site – here.

Note the service we use is called Trusted Housesitters a UK company located in England. After several years of full-time sitting, Trusted Housesitters invited us to become Brand Ambassadors. If you email me I can send you a special code, you can not get from others! Email – cindy@bluebagnomads.com Thank you for being here!

Port Angeles, Washington – December 2018 to February 2019 (9 ½ weeks)

What a wonderful Christmas we had with one of our son’s and his wife joining us in Port Angeles. If you like nature this is the place to come! We went for hikes to waterfalls and along the many beaches. There was a Bald Eagle that regularly returned to the trees across the street from our house sit. Loved this location.

Lighthouse at Port Townsend

Something unusual was the dog, Keta, we were house sitting for, was going through “nose” training/nose work. I took the dog once a week to his training and worked as his handler to keep the continuity going. It was quite fun. The trainer was very impressed with my ability to handle the dog. It was more fun than work. It was a proud moment every time the dog found the smell he was hunting for. The trainer said I did an excellent job!

We also cared for 3 ducks and hundreds of wild ducks. We feed the wild ducks every morning and then let the home ducks out each morning and in each night. The youngest duck started laying eggs for the first time while we were there. (There is a story here – more another day.)

It did rain on occasion (and snowed once), and the owners had left matching raincoats for the dog, and me – LOL – we looked quite good in them.

One of my favorite walks there was walking out on the Dungeness Spit. Beautiful, beautiful walk. We also found several Geocaches, including one of my favorites – a Christmas light is hidden in a forest just a short drive away. We went there a few times because it was such a nice walk. 

The Olympia National park is there too. We did go for a hike to Marymere Falls, a pretty easy hike that I would recommend taking. There were endless opportunities to explore; even after two months, we could have stayed longer. Port Angeles was a quaint town too. There are even some dog-friendly coffee shops we went to.

Oregon City, Oregon – February 2019 (3 ½ weeks)

40th House sit. Well-loved the area, the house (probably the largest we had ever sat in) but not the owners so much (they lied to us), and the dog definitely had serious behavior issues. The dog was on several meds and had a phycologist, a behaviorist, and a trainer to help him. It was also a big German Shepherd, so you can guess there were problems. We survived, but we felt bad for the dog, and the owners needed a hard-talking too. (I did see in the future house sitting opportunities with this couple-there was no dog listed.) There was also one cat, Oliver (who was an angel), and a hibernating tortoise (we never saw the tortoise).

Willamette River

The owners did treat us to a night out. We went to Feckin Brewery, which had delicious food and something we had not seen before – Axe Throwing. Apparently, Axe Throwing is a growing trend; we have now seen it in many places. I was sad to see that Feckin Brewery is permanently closed recently. When we were there, the atmosphere and food were perfect.

It snowed! There was lots of snow, and it was beautiful. The house was slightly remote, and the first time it snowed, it was a couple of days before the road was plowed; thankfully, we didn’t need to go anywhere. Except for taking the dog for three to four (short) walks a day!

When we could get out and about, we went back to Portland (short drive) to see the Portland Japanese Garden (to see their new expansion) and the Powell BookStore. Both are must-see when visiting Portland.

In Oregon City, we visited the museum that is the end of the Oregon Trail. Then, we took the Oregon City Municipal “Elevator,” similar to the funicular trains in Pittsburgh. If you take the elevator up-there is a nice walk you can take. You will see beautiful views of the Willamette River.

San Francisco, California – March 2019 (1 ½ weeks)

We stayed in a penthouse apartment with big windows, and we could watch the streetcars go by. We couldn’t park in that neighborhood-enter Cindy’s friend from high school. She happened to live a short distance away and let us park our car there – our hero.

View from our Penthouse housesit in San Francisco

We were also able to have dinner with Tom’s sister, who lives across the bay. We were within walking distance to several excellent restaurants, and the streetcars made it easy to get to Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace, and other tourist locations.

Besides the big windows, this house had a pink couch – smile. We were taking care of one cute cat, Lola. One of the most loving cats. The odd thing here was the fan over the stove would randomly come on. 

It was great to take our time and walk through Chinatown. Then, we hiked to the Lands End Labyrinth overlooking the ocean with the Golden Gate Bridge in the other direction. This was a fun thing to do. We also drove across the Golden Gate bridge and wandered the hills on the other side. It was intriguing to see San Francisco from a different view we had not seen in a very long time.

We went to the cable car museum, which I am so glad we did. Then, across the street was a fun place to eat – Gallery Cafe. It has lots of interesting decorations and games to play with.

Our son and his wife also met up with us in San Francisco and we went to the Boudin Cafe at Fisherman’s Wharf. 

After this we spent a week in Grass Valley with our son and his wife.

Oakland Hills, California – March 2019 (8 days)

We got a lot of work done on our computers and took the dog, Cooper, for walks in the local park. We did have my cousin and his wife over for lunch one afternoon. 

The highlight was we went to our niece and her husband’s home for dinner, and all the local family was there – this included the two-month-old twins! It was such a joy to see the twins for the first time and a lot of family.

From Oakland Hills, we went back to Grass Valley for a week – I always love to return to Grass Valley for a quick recharge and catch-up. We also went to Auburn and spent an afternoon there. Auburn, close to Sacramento, is another gold rush town that makes a good day out.

Millbrae (South San Francisco), California – March / April 2019 (3 weeks 5 days)

This was one of the cutest dogs, Kaya (pron. K eye ah); it looked like a miniature Border Collie. My sister and her new boyfriend were passing through and stayed for Easter dinner. My sister had just bought a new motorcycle, and they were on their way down the coast making many stops, including us – smile.

The beaches were not far away, so we went several times. I also went to a restaurant in Rockaway Beach with several family members. 

The planes look like they are driving on the water!

The house was located near the San Francisco International Airport; the jet engine noise was loud. It was a charming house in a nice neighborhood, but I was glad it was only temporary. We did go to the “IT’S-IT Ice Cream” factory, a short drive. I also went to the airport a couple of times to watch the planes take off. We were interested in how the runaways almost looked like they disappeared when the tide came in. Sometimes the planes looked like there was no way they would miss each other.

We were there at the right time to even go to a koi show in San Jose. It had been years since we had attended a koi show; it was fun to know so many people there. Great nostalgia.

We went to the Japanese Garden in the City of San Mateo, built-in 1966. It is not very big, but worth a visit. It was a pretty day to be there. After that, we met up with Tom’s college friend and his wife at the Cheesecake Factory in San Jose.

Tulips at Filoli Historic House & Garden

On another beautiful day, we met up with my cousins and their partners at the Filoli Historic House & Garden in Woodside, California. It was Springtime, so the gardens were in full bloom and gorgeous. There were many tulip varieties throughout the garden that were so colorful, and we listened to a professional violinist. You can also take a tour of the house which we did. This was a fabulous day. 

Road Trip San Francisco to Santa Maria, California – April 2019 (4 days)

Stopped at numerous beaches and small towns. I had not seen Santa Cruz before, so it was great to go for a walk along its famous BoardWalk and check out their amusement rides. 

Santa Cruz

We spent two nights with my Aunt and cousin, who live near Monterey. We were able to go together to the Monterey Aquarium for most of the day, so we really got to see it thoroughly. 

We stopped at Arroyo Grande Camp (established in 1885). Tom camped there many times growing up.

Santa Maria, California – April / May 2019 (4 ½ weeks)

Had a house sit for three cats, Muffyn, Caitin, and Patti, that each had a different personality. One normally is very shy, doesn’t come out of the bedroom, but she warmed up, and we all spent time together. When the owners got back, they called me the ‘Cat Whisperer,’ they couldn’t believe the shy cat had been so friendly. 

The owners left us tickets to go to the local Kawaini casino night while they were gone, a nice night out. Before they left, they took us on a tour of the area and out to breakfast at their favorite place – it was delicious. And the woman is a great cook and left us some treats.

We visited several beaches. Another couple we know also are travelers, and we happened to meet up here – what a nice surprise.

Morro Bay

We also went to Morro Bay and drove over to Morro Rock – an amazing geological phenomenon. Morro Bay is beautiful with good shopping and restaurants.

The Madonna Inn (in San Luis Obispo, California) is a unique hotel, each room has its own theme, and pink is popular throughout the property. We stopped for coffee, and they offered pink sugar, of course. 

And if all that wasn’t enough we were able to have lunch with my cousin at Pea Soup Anderson’s in Buellton, California. 

Las Vegas, Nevada – May / June 2019 (1 week 2 days)

45th House sit. First up, walking through the Venetian and grabbing some gelato, then watching the gondolas glide by indoors and outdoors. 

When we took this picture we had no idea we would actually go to Paris later in the year!

We visited the Container Park; it has some great unique shops and of course food. There is a large sculpture at the entrance that is very colorful at night. Close by is Las Vega’s old downtown, which is covered and is a pedestrian walkway. They have added a zip line right down the middle. Went over to The D Casino & Hotel that has a piece of the Blarney Stone and rubbed it for good luck.

Did someone say chocolate? Took a tour of Ethel M Chocolates. In addition to the chocolate, there is a garden outside to wander through. 

Being Las Vegas in the desert, it was hot. So for Rebel, the big dog we were house sitting for, we’d go for his walks at 5:30 in the morning! Before, the streets got too hot, and there were no sidewalks in this area.

We drove out to Lake Mead and over to Hoover Dam. We did go across the dam and back. I had not been here since I was little, it was great to see again.

We took a tour of the backstage “Love” show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. It is free and we learned a lot about the making of the show. For Tom’s birthday a couple of years earlier, he got to see the Love show.

Met up with my younger brother and his wife in Boulder City. Tried to visit the railroad museum, but it was closed. But we did find a geocache there. Had a delicious dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Boulder City.

San Diego, California – June 2019 (1 ½ weeks)

It had been a long time since we had been to Old Town in San Diego. We enjoyed a yummy lunch and wandering through the shops. It was my younger sister’s (big) birthday, so we went to her favorite restaurant, Casa Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, with family and some of her closest friends. 

San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden

We went to the San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden. Tom was on the Board of Directors when we lived in San Diego, always enjoy returning to see how it has changed. We had time to wander some of Balboa Park (a must-visit when visiting San Diego).

San Diego, California – June / July 2019 (3 ½ weeks)

We spent a week and a half with my sister; then, a 3 ½ week house sit in Pacific Beach area of San Diego. Taking the dog, Murray, for a walk one day, I found the fanciest Free Library; it even had stained glass doors.

Tried going to Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe & Afternoon Tea for tea with my sister and Tom’s brother, but we didn’t have a reservation that turned out to be necessary. So we went across the way to Shakespeare Pub, we had a great time, and the food was tasty.

The Padre game was next. It was a night game and had one of the most spectacular sunsets I had ever seen. People were talking about it for a long time, including on the local news stations. The Padre’s were celebrating their 50th year in 2019. Oh, and we won one of the best baseball games I had seen in a very long time. After the game, we were treated to a light and firework display – an amazing evening.

An unusual thing for this house sit – Tom had to feed the worm farm – smile. Tom also went down to Tijuana, Mexico, for some dental work. It was nice to be there long enough to get his dental necessities done!

We went to the beach, which was just down the block from the house several times. Love San Diego, our home town.

One side note, we knew we would be gone for several months and didn’t need our car, so one of my sister’s friends let us store our car at her home – what a great friend! So off to New York and Europe, leaving our car in good hands.

Brooklyn, New York – July 2019 (1 week)

One nice thing about having a son who lives in Brooklyn is to see him and explore New York City often (sad face in 2021 he moved to upstate New York). So our son and his family went on a cruise for a week. My younger sister and boyfriend came and joined us for the last couple of days. 

Stardust Dinner

We went to the Stardust Diner, and it was a little disappointing. The food didn’t seem as good as the first time. But the diner is unique in that they have out-of-work Broadway Show actors that perform in the diner while you eat – I still would recommend going if you haven’t been before. It is located just north of Times Square.

Wandered through Times Square, of course, and popped into the Hershey’s Store. Another day we went to Central Park and Bryant Park. We also went to Coney Island at night, very different from going during the day. Colorful and fun place to be.

We had four cats (Asher, Jack, Louis, and Essy) to care for, and one of them was new (Essy), so it was nice to meet the whole family.

Edinburgh, Scotland – July / August 2019 (4 weeks)

Where to start, this was an amazing place to be at an amazing time – we were in Edinburgh during their famous Fringe Festival that takes place for several weeks in August each year. 

Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival

Took a couple of walking tours, one general and then one of the underground and the inside of a bridge that was full of little rooms. Sooooo many great stories to remember. Be sure to take the free guided tour of the castle; you will learn a lot. There are many amazing views from the Castle of the city and countryside.

The Fringe Festival has dozens of venues (including The Three Sisters, which we went to several times) for comedians, bands, and all kinds of other performers. Many of the performances are free (you can tip), with many of those having longer shows if you want to see more for a small fee. During the festival, they also hold the Military Tattoo – a do NOT miss event. August was an amazing time to be in Edinburgh.

My sister and boyfriend came and stayed with us for a week. (The owner was happy to have them come.) We went on a couple of outings, including going to St. Andrews, where the game of golf was born. There are several other historical places to visit in St. Andrews too. Oh, and don’t forget to stop for ice cream/gelato at Jannettas Gelateria. A great day out from Edinburgh.

Just outside Edinburgh, you can get there by bus (and then a little hiking), is Craigmillar Castle. We loved visiting this castle. From the top, you can look back across the countryside and see Edinburgh Castle. I would recommend going there, but it is a bit easier to drive to get there. This also has a lot of history about Mary, Queen of Scots. 

Another easy hike is to go up Calton Hill (in Edinburgh). There are some interesting structures; one looks like something you would find in Greece, a museum, and the Nelson Monument. I would recommend going to the top of the monument if you can handle the stairs. 

Like most major cities, I can always find more to do than I have time for. We took care of another one-eyed cat named Phillip. He ended up needing to go to the vet – he was not easy to catch, and he was quite mad at me; at the end, though, he warmed up, and we became friends. The first time we had needed to take an animal we were caring for to the vet.

Edinburgh has so much to see and we hope to return again and again! (We did have a sit scheduled for here, but because of the pandemic, it was canceled – fingers crossed for the future.)

Wantage, England – August 2019 (1 week 1 day)

We needed to take a train from Edinburgh all the way to London and then back north to this small town. We took care of an adorable Border Collie, Jazzie, so much fun. It was nice to have an off-lead place to take him for runs every day. 

King Alfreds Pub and Jazzie of course!

We made it into Wantage twice, and we needed to take a bus to get there. We enjoyed the “Tiki Party and BBQ” at King Alfreds pub. Meet a nice couple that we chatted with for several hours.

Taking the bus in the other direction was Oxford. Spent an entire day exploring the city. We were able to take a walking tour too. I like walking tours; I think you learn a lot and you can often go places that you might not have been able to on your own. We did wander a bit, including the covered market (a must-stop). Didn’t have time to take a punt boat out, maybe next time. Also stopped at Queen’s Lane Coffee Shop – it claims to be the oldest coffee shop in Europe – est 1654.

We spent time out because the owners had a dog walker that took Jazzie almost every afternoon because she was a young dog with lots of energy. This allowed us to go and explore for many hours instead of three or four—a nice perk. The home was wonderful, and the young couple are getting married next year. (I did check; they are married now. Happy for them!)

Exeter, England – August / September 2019 (3 days)

The first stop was the Cathedral in Exeter. Then we took The Exeter Underground Passages tour – this was educational and amazing. We went to the Old Fire House for dinner, which turned out to be a delicious and fun choice. This restaurant covers several floors and you can either get a small table or share long tables. I was even able to get pizza with “no cheese,” which was perfect. Smile. (Allergies, so no cheese for me.)

The Airbnb we stayed at was exquisite with interesting decorations – like a stuffed Cheetah and several Egyptian items. This was a very old home, and our room was large with a view of a park. Unfortunately, the first Airbnb canceled on us at the last minute, but I am sure it would not have been as nice as this one – sometimes things happen for a reason, we really liked the one we stayed at.

The next day we walked down to the quayside. You walk along Roman walls, and then at the quayside, there were many “cellars” in the wall that were turned into little shops—what a fun place to be. They had a little ferry called Butt’s Ferry, which only cost 40p (about 60 cents) to cross the river. A nice place to spend a warm day; we even had ice cream.

Budleigh Salterton, England – September to November 2019 (2 ½ Months)

Budleigh Salterton is located along the southern coast of England, along the Jurassic coastline. The house sit we did was an easy walk to the beach. We took care of an Italian Greyhound named Piper, who needed to go for a walk twice a day. This turned out to be a great way to get us to walk along the beach and really see and enjoy it.

The town is small, but the High Street has several great little gift shops, numerous places to get tea, coffee, and ice cream. There were two pubs we went to; our favorite was The Salterton Arms. I did find I should not carry cash with me; it was too easy to stop and buy ice cream on my walks with Piper.

The beach is all pebbles, no sand. There was a long row of beach huts that made the beach very picturesque. They do take them down starting the first week in November to protect them from the winter weather.

Exmouth is close by, and we went there a couple of times. That is where we got on the cruise that took us along the Jurassic coastline from the water. The cruise company was Stuart Line Cruises. A great way to see the coastline and the nesting area for several birds. This included the Peregrine Falcon, the fastest animal on the planet; we saw two of them! You can also find dinosaurs in Exmouth, well, dinosaur statutes.

Another day outing was going to a 1,000-year-old business – the Otterton Mill in Otterton. It is still operational to this day. And by the way, it has a great gift shop. We went to lunch down the street at Kings Arms Otterton – another delicious lunch and memorable day out.

It was hard to leave as we had met many people on their High Street, and when we went for walks, they would wave and stop and say hi. It felt like home; it would have been effortless to have stayed forever. The house was wonderful too, on three floors, of course, our room was on the top floor.

We took the train to Bristol, to catch a very early flight the next morning for Krakow.

Krakow, Poland – November 2019 (5 days)

50th House sit. The flight was exciting. As we were trying to land in Krakow, it turned out to be too foggy. We kept going down, down, down, and then suddenly, we went zooming back up above the fog. We ended up having to land at an airport about 30 minutes away and take a bus. We did meet a nice young man on the plane that we are still in touch with today.

Okay, with the flight excitement over, we loved, loved Krakow. The house sit was wonderful, in a great location. A bonus was that our daughter-in-law’s brother lives there! So we were able to meet up with him and his girlfriend. Okay, I say fun a lot, but we really did have a fun time with them. They showed us around town and had a wonderful lunch in a unique restaurant – Cafe Camelot. 

Krakow has a lot of history, interesting buildings, lots to do, and we are so happy that we could find a house sit there. We also went to the Krakow Pinball Museum, the castle, saw the fire-breathing dragon, Krakow Old Town, and we squeezed in a few geocaches too. We had a wonderful time. Taking care of Phillip, a strong cattle dog, went smoothly too.

Budapest, Hungary (and Vienna, Austria) – November 2019 (4 Days)

We loved the Airbnb we stayed at in Budapest. It was an easy walk to the river, buses, and subway. The apartment was also roomy and comfortable in an interesting old, old building (with a creepy older woman – yikes). There was an indoor market between our apartment and the river that had a great selection of gifts and a grocery store downstairs – a very convenient location.

We took the funicular train to the top of a hill overlooking the city during our walking tour. The train actually was a little shortcut we took – don’t tell anyone. We also tried out the electric scooters there, even though I think we went to a few places we weren’t supposed to – oops.

While we were staying in Budapest, we took a day trip to Vienna by train. Easy to do and highly recommended if you don’t have the time to go to Vienna for the night. Did take a walking tour (of course) of Vienna. We also enjoyed having coffee at Cafe Opar. It was a shortstop, but we got to see quite a bit.

In Vienna

Back in Budapest, we went to a couple of Christmas Markets. One had a great selection of jewelry, and I actually bought a new necklace to replace the one I lost in New York City. Now this necklace is also a great souvenir. We loved Budapest and crammed in a lot of history, shopping, and exploring!

The Airbnb owner arranged our transportation to the airport (5 am), but they didn’t show, fortunately even at this early hour, there were many taxi cabs, so it all worked out. The airport was different, more like a train station where you wait in a central area up until your train would depart, then they tell you which track it will be on, same with the planes. They didn’t tell us until the last minute which gate to go to – it was a bit nerve-racking, but again you go with the flow, and it was not a problem.

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – November / December 2019 (2 weeks and 2 days)

What a wonderful stop Luxembourg was. It was easy to get around; we went to three uniquely different Christmas markets, it snowed one day, we house sit one cute little dog- named Francine, and we found many interesting places to explore.  Francine was funny in that she really didn’t like to go for walks, you might be able to coax her a couple of blocks, but she would not walk home – fortunately, she only weighed eight pounds, so I would pick her up and carry her back – she was happy!

If you have not been there before, there is a large chasm going through the city, with a beautiful river flowing through at the bottom. In addition, there are amazing caverns to explore (but only during the warmer months – we need to go back). 

Found a great place to try, a hot chocolate shop. They had dozens of different chocolate flavors to try – Chocolate House Nathalie Bonn. It is a must-stop if you like chocolate!! There is seating upstairs that was an amazing experience. It is right across the street from the palace.

We were going to Paris next, but guess what? France was having a nationwide transportation strike!! It took a bit of doing, but we could take a bus – the only way we could get there on short notice. No trains were running, and I mean none! However, they did allow a few planes which were all full. So, okay, bus it is – onward to Paris!

Paris, France – December 2019 (5 days)

Well, we made it to Paris despite France’s nationwide transportation strike. Our stop after Paris was Barcelona. We were going to take a train, but that was canceled too. It was too far to take a bus. We feel fortunate that we found a flight we could take – we did have to stay an extra night in Paris, but we now knew we would make it to our next city.

At the Louvre Museum, they had a special exhibit of the artist Leonardo de Vinci – great timing!! We also were lucky that we were staying at a hotel that was within walking distance. The transportation strike had not happened yet when we made these reservations – so, so lucky. 

We also rented motorized scooters, which we rode to the Eiffel Tower. We also went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. There are 280 stairs to get to the top (if you have mobility issues, you can take the elevator {there are still a few stairs you will need to be able to walk up}).  

Within walking distance of our hotel was the large Paris Christmas Market, which was disappointing. It was so crowded we didn’t get to see much of it and eventually gave up. 

We also went to Notre Dame Cathedral to see the damage from the fire. It is a sad sight to see. 

Since we needed to stay an extra night because of the strike, we went and talked with the front desk – well, they wanted to charge us four times what we paid to stay one more night – What!! So we got on the internet and found a new hotel. Plus, this new hotel was just off a busy street that we needed to take to get to the airport in the morning – so it actually turned out to be a good thing to move. On we go to Barcelona, a day late, but so happy to be flying there.

Barcelona, Spain – December 2019 (4 Non-consecutive Nights)

Non-consecutive because we found a deal to go to Marrakesh, Morocco that we could not say no to! We were in Barcelona for one night; then, we had three more nights when we returned from Marrakesh.

The main street in Barcelona – La Rambla

The Airbnb we stayed at was fabulous. It was an apartment that we had by ourselves. It overlooked La Rambla, the main tourist street in Barcelona. We also took a hop-on, hop-off bus that gave us a great overview of Barcelona.

We went to the Tibidabo Amusement Park that has towering views over all of Barcelona. You need to go just for the view! The Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located there too. 

After a long day of being a tourist – smile, we were sitting at the main square, Plaça de Catalunya, sipping on hot chocolates. The next thing we know, someone had stolen Tom’s satchel, cell phone, and wallet. I had this feeling! I immediately scanned the area and saw a man with Tom’s satchel, so I started running after him while yelling (very loudly) at him. I guess he didn’t want the police to see the disturbance, so when I told him to put everything down, he did! Thank goodness!! Even 5 seconds later, he would have been gone, and we would never have found him. 

We enjoyed Barcelona more than we thought we would and would love to go back someday. The next stop from Barcelona was New York City to see our son and for a house sit. (With our side trip to Marrakesh in the middle)

Marrakesh, Morocco – December 2019 (3 Days)

Fun, fun, fun! What a blast we had. So exciting to visit our fourth continent. The Airbnb was in the old city, called Dar Ikalimo, Riad Laarouss. The service was excellent, the room was luxurious, and it included breakfast on the rooftop patio. 

Marrakesh Market

We wandered so many amazing streets. The food was delicious, and I don’t say that very often. The shops were fun, and buying something took a lot of bargaining. Smile. The people were wonderful, and I would go back in a heartbeat. I think we bought more gifts and souvenirs here than any other place we have been.

At the Medina of Marrakesh (market), they have cobras, of course! Tom didn’t hold a cobra, but he did hold a couple of other snakes – yikes. After that, we went to the Le Jardin Secret, a beautiful garden with an upstairs cafe where we got some tea and lunch.

At the airport is a Starbuck, which I found by mistake. I had gone the wrong way – but I guess something was calling me – smile. I couldn’t decide between getting my usual mug or getting the travel mug? My husband was sitting there, and he said, get both – isn’t he wonderful. 

New York, New York – December 2019 to January 2020 (3 ½ weeks)

Our younger son had been asking us to be in NYC for Christmas and New Years Eve for a year. He wanted to celebrate 2020 together. We were lucky to find a house sit, so we could be in town for several weeks.

The amazing view from our housesit!

We stayed in the northern part of Brooklyn on the top floor with fabulous views of Manhattan. We were taking care of one bunny rabbit, Bean – cute and easy – thankfully. It was quick to get to Manhattan, so we did some sightseeing too. 

The Vessel in Hudson Yard had recently opened, a strange sculpture that is several stories high. You can walk to the top of it, but if needed, there is an unusual elevator – it doesn’t go straight up; it goes along an angle. Get tickets online (if still required, they are free, they use the tickets to control how many people are there at any time). The 7 subway train makes it easy to get there. 

We also went to the Oculus, another crazy new thing that can only be believed by seeing it. Do you know how people like to take pictures at Grand Central Terminal? Will this be the new place to take pictures? 

Went to two holiday markets, the one at Union Square and the one at Bryant Park. Each has its own personality. At Bryant Park, part of the park is transformed into an ice skating rink, then the rest of the area has a wide variety of shops. You also have a view of the Empire State Building from both markets – if you take the time to look. Union Square has more homemade everyday items, where Bryant Park is a bit shinier.

One morning we walked by our old apartment near Times Square and many of our favorite haunts, like Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal. Also found several geocaches through Manhattan and Brooklyn.

It was wonderful to spend Christmas and New Years with our younger son and his family.

At our house sit, every night we were treated to a spectacular view.  It snowed a couple of times.  I could have lived here too.

For Year 5, we returned to our hometown of San Diego – to pick up our car, smile and visit family.

In case you missed – Year 1 (2016)Year 2 (2017)Year 3 (2018)